What does working in the time of Coronavirus mean? For many this consists of a makeshift desk space in their child's bedroom, or obsessively measuring both their distance and temperature at their once, vibrant office. Now, more than ever, employees need to be inspired, stimulated and motivated, when the no end in sight mentality seems to rule our lives at every waking moment. How can this be done when we're legally required to be alone as much as possible? When offices are closed and economic recessions bubble so close to the surface?
We’re not saying companies need to fill their office walls with a clichéd Live Laugh Love poster, but rather reflect their company values and inspire their employees through the most powerful means possible; art.
Here are five reasons why art is good for both your company and employees.
1. It gets both the productive and creative juices flowing
According to Dr Craig Knight, master of psychology and working environments at the University of Exeter, allowing staff to ‘realise a part of themselves’ in an office, leads to more productive work. Speaking about his research, Dr. Knight claims that “There is a real tendency to opt for sanitised, lean workspaces, designed to encourage staff to just get on with their work and avoid distraction. If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art.”
2. It’s good for the brain
Art has a powerful means of not only motivating staff but inspiring clients, and some companies have been known to use art as a strategic means of retaining and acquiring new business partners, because it actively encourages them to be in the office. Although most millennial hipsters swear by a brutalist, minimal aesthetic, colour and art is actually ‘energy-giving’ and encourages viewers to stick around and make sense of what they see. Sounds far-fetched? Well, actually it’s not. Abstract art, in particular, engages the brain and pushes it to make sense of what it sees, decoding the amalgamation of lines and colour before it.
3. It shows companies care
Researchers at University College London, conducted a series of brain-mapping experiments (intense, right?), led by neurobiologist Professor Semir Zeki. During the experiment, volunteers had their brains scanned whilst viewing 28 works of art. The scans showed that viewing art triggered a surge of dopamine, (happy chemical), in the brain, resulting in delightful sensations of happiness and satisfaction. This is because, when we look at things that are aesthetically pleasing (puppies, Beyoncé, wine), the brain is ‘rewarded’ with feelings of pleasure!
"If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art.”
4. It boosts a company's brand
A carefully-curated art collection can not only illustrate a company’s character, style and personality, but it also can put it on the map (literally). At Artupia, we work with artists from all over the world, which can help communicate a brand’s global reach. Additionally, by supporting emerging artists like ours, it shows a company supports the art industry and pays independent creatives fairly for their work, ensuring that these talented individuals are given the vital airtime they deserve.
5. It improves communication
The subjectivity of art means there is no right or wrong, and in turn invites a healthy discussion on what a certain painting means to not only an enterprise but also its employees. So if Mark from finance thinks the abstract piece by the water cooler is emblematic of the future of economic globalisation, then that’s ok, because art is quite possibly the most effective form of self-expression. Although not immediately apparent to us, art is a subtle means of engaging the senses, and requires a careful examination that boosts brain productivity, which in turn means clients and staff will want to come back for some more of that sweet, sweet arty goodness. In addition, art in an office provides a great talking point for clients, fellow staff members or for breaking that dreaded small-talk.